Starz Chief Executive Officer Chris Albrecht announced at today’s Starz Television Critics Association (TCA) presentation that Starz’ diverse programming strategy continues with the development of “Santeria,” a “supernatural series” from Cuban writer and director Alejandro Brugues (“From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series,” “Juan of the Dead”) and Eduardo Sanchez (“The Blair Witch Project,” “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series”) who will executive produce and direct, with Gregg Hale (“The Blair Witch Project”) serving as executive producer.
Per the press release, the description of the series reads: “Cuba, its doors finally open to the world. But a secret war brews there, a clash between opposing sects of Santeria, the ancient religion born on the island. Two undercover agents investigating a bizarre murder are pulled into this supernatural conflict and discover it’s more dangerous and far-reaching than anything they could have imagined.”
For those who may not be aware, in brief, Santeria is an African-Caribbean religion based on a fusion of different Yoruba beliefs and traditions, and Roman Catholicism, that grew out of the slave trade in Cuba. The religion is also known as La Regla Lucumi, and the Rule of Osha. What exactly Starz and company have in mind for this “supernatural series” I can’t say; I haven’t read a script. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ambivalent about a Hollywood production based on any African mythology. I fear that this could be some Eli Roth-esque thoughtless exercise in reinforcing certain colonial stereotypes and stigmas used to demonize/*other* a group of people.
But it’s maybe calming that Cuban writers are behind the series. Although their previous work doesn’t entirely win me over.